Windows Server 2008 Remote Desktop access from Ubuntu client

Tried for weeks and weeks to connect to a Windows 2008 Server via remote desktop from my Xubuntu-12.04 laptop. To no avail. There were some steps required like setting up VPN with fixed IP, finding a remote desktop client and trying to connect to the server, so a lot of potential problem sources.

To cut straight to the point:
sudo aptitude install remmina
solved the problem.

Fast-IP-VPN was correctly configured, but the Ubuntu default remote desktop client rdesktop was refused by the 2008 server. What made the problem not so obvious was that the connection to another remote desktop at the same institution worked without problem, but that was a XP server. No one was aware of this and event the IT-support suggested rdesktop.

On top remmina comes with a graphical user interface and in Xubuntu an item in the system tray makes connection to a once correctly configured remote desktop a one-click affair.

Hattip to Jonathan Moeller and his The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide.

A short howto remmina on


cwRsync – Transparent Backups in Windows XP

The Unix tool rsync turned out to be a fast and reliable way to backup my /home folder to an USB-disk.

ITeF!x provides this installation-how2. He seems to maintain the packages. The website is quite informative, though a bit confusing to me. The download link did not work today,   so I found another download location.


Supported platforms: Client – Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP/2003, Server – NT/2000/XP/2003.

[Download cwRsync.] cwRsync comes as a zip archive containing a Nullsoft Installer package. Unzip downloaded file and run cwRsync_x.x.x_Installer.exe or cwRsync_Server_x.x.x_Installer.exe (server version) :

  1. Click Next at Welcome-page
  2. View license agreement.
  3. Select components that varies depending on package type: Client package has an optional component (Secure Channel Wrapper & Wizard). It makes creation of secure channels to cwrsync servers an easy task.
  4. Specify an installation location.
  5. (cwRsyncServer only) Specify a service account.
  6. Installation starts. By clicking ‘Details’ button, you can get more detailed information about installation. Check if everything seems ok.

You’re DONE! cwRsync is installed on your machine.

Rsync’ing a USB-disk with a Windows XP folder

Use your text-editor-of-choice and paste the following line into it:
rsync -au --exclude '.*' --exclude 'Music/' "/cygdrive/e/" "/cygdrive/h/DATA/home/"

My USB-drive showed up in the windows explorer as E:/ therfore it says /cygdrive/e/. The Windows folder was H:/DATA/home/ which translates into /cygdrive/h/DATA/home/. Change the paths to your specific situation.

Save the file as syncUSB.bat. The .bat tells Windows to execute the script in the commandline.

A variation of the script is
cwRsync\bin\rsync -au --exclude '.*' --exclude 'Music/' "/cygdrive/e/" "/cygdrive/h/DATA/home/"
when both the syncUSB.bat and the installation folder of cwRsync are in the folder which gets updated from the USB-disk.